I'm a longtime lurker, but fairly new to answering questions. I only post if I know the answer.

I invested time to answer several jQuery questions, only to watch a moderator delete or move my answer to a "comment" (OK, not bad so far). At the same time this caused me to lose some reputation (that's bad). Surprisingly, someone else posted the same answer I provided first and received reputation for it (that's bad).

I also answered one other question correctly, only to have it voted down for no reason (see for yourself). I asked for clarification on that, along with someone else, but nothing was explained. If someone has the time to pull that move, they should have the time to make it clear why and to make proper adjustments to reputation credits.

I invest time here to constructively help people. If I was posting incorrect answers, fine. But my answers are correct and often detailed with Fiddle code. You can review my account activity and decide for yourself. There are not many answers to review.

What might explain some of my experiences and what can I do to prevent this from happening?

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    You have 0 answers with a score of less than zero, so you'll need to provide a link to the answer you feel is being downvoted. I'm not going to check all 18 answers for one with a +1/-1 on it. – Servy May 8 '13 at 17:25
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    Can you provide some examples of answers that were deleted or converted to comments? Sometimes answers will get auto-converted, and sometimes they're just not as great as you think they are, or look more like a question than an answer. – LittleBobbyTables - Au Revoir May 8 '13 at 17:25
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    Example 'answer': What is $(document).queue(function())? – Martijn Pieters May 8 '13 at 17:26
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    Using martijn's example, the issue there is that it's a link only answer. Link only answers are not appropriate on SO, the are, at best, comments. If you see other users posting a link only answer feel free to flag it. More info only link only answers – Servy May 8 '13 at 17:27
  • explain this ... stackoverflow.com/questions/16237661/… – carrabino May 8 '13 at 17:28
  • Some are link only answers, and others may be preventing posts with links to jsfiddle and no code. – Jason Sturges May 8 '13 at 17:28
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    @Mat I don't really see the -1's here as an issue of opinion. The question asked here is simply not particularly constructive, not particularly well researched, not well phrased, it's hard to tell what's really being asked, and has a generally antagonistic tone with the ultimatum of "do what I want or I'll leave". None of this is specific to meta. – Servy May 8 '13 at 17:28
  • explain this one too .... stackoverflow.com/questions/16441212/… – carrabino May 8 '13 at 17:29
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    @Anthony Downvotes happen. Random downvotes happen. It's a fact. Don't get too hung up over them if your answer is correct. Move on. – Bart May 8 '13 at 17:29
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    @Anthony, in regards to stackoverflow.com/questions/16441212/…, the OP clearly states in the comments "Thanks for your reply, but unfortunately it doesn't solve the problem". – LittleBobbyTables - Au Revoir May 8 '13 at 17:30
  • i understand "down voting" a bad answer.... but i spend time creating a FULLY WORKING FIDDLE, and answering very vague question with a direct link to let them sort it out as they need to ... it's not my fault people can't post a clear question. I did my best to help them. and i get down voted???? – carrabino May 8 '13 at 17:31
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    answering very vague question -- that could be part of the problem right there. If the question is vague, ask for a clarification. Assumptions can end up to downvotes. – LittleBobbyTables - Au Revoir May 8 '13 at 17:32
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    @Anthony If the question is of low quality, is unclear, etc. then I would discourage you from answering it, and particularly from spending a lot of time on such a question. Help the user improve the question such that it is of high quality and is answerable first, then once it's clear and in good enough shape, spend the time to answer it. If you can't do that (i.e. you don't know enough, or the user isn't receptive) or don't want to bother (which is understandable) then just move on to a better question. – Servy May 8 '13 at 17:33
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    I should also point out that three of your answers: stackoverflow.com/a/16379527/19679 , stackoverflow.com/a/16379981/19679 , stackoverflow.com/a/16380038/19679 were removed by a moderator because they were effectively link-based answers that didn't address the question asked. When they were copied across three questions, they were flagged and removed as a result. We do expect answers to be targeted to the question asked and to be self-contained. – Brad Larson May 8 '13 at 17:50
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    @Peter Mortensen - was an edit that solely added Wikipedia links to the question really necessary? – LittleBobbyTables - Au Revoir May 8 '13 at 18:28

You posted a link-only answer, with the contents:

a good explanation of jquery.queue() can be found here: http://api.jquery.com/jQuery.queue/

That is not an answer; answers which just contain links are considered bad practice. Please summarize the content from that link in your post (don't copy/paste) so the answer can stand on its own.

The answer, as it stood, would have been better posted as a comment instead; your answer was flagged by community members as 'Not an answer' and a moderator, acting on those flags, converted the answer to a comment.

The question itself is already closed, and heavily downvoted. You probably shouldn't even have bothered to answer it. The question will probably end up being deleted, as it doesn't contribute anything of value to Stack Overflow; it is not helpful to future visitors.

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  • did you actually read the OPs question? a professional mind reader couldn't sort out that vagueness .... what i posted was a good start. – carrabino May 8 '13 at 17:34
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    @Anthony: Your other option is to not answer bad questions. That question should not have been asked in the first place, or as a next best option, be closed. And it was indeed closed; because it has a negative score it'll be deleted automatically, you would have lost any reputation for your answer anyway. – Martijn Pieters May 8 '13 at 17:34
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    @Anthony If you want to stay sane in this place, just answer clear questions that actually deserve an answer. Don't waste your time on an unclear mess. Your answer might be wrong, or at best you'll end up in a long exchange with the OP to get what on earth they are on about. Have the OP improve their question or move on. Your time is valuable no doubt. And it's no use to spend it on something that will only frustrate you and might see you leave. – Bart May 8 '13 at 17:45
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    @Anthony did you refer to yourself as "The OP" ? – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd May 8 '13 at 17:49
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    @returnPhaDaPhunk: No, Anthony meant the OP of the question he had answered. – David Robinson May 8 '13 at 17:50
  • @DavidRobinson oh thanks. Scared the hell out of me – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd May 8 '13 at 17:50

Don't forget : Links die, Examples don't.

Link only answers are not accepted here. I strongly recommend you read Jon Skeet's guide to answering questions.

If the community judges that your question is not an answer, chances are you are not respecting some part of the F.A.Q. (Which I recommend you read to before posting).

Also don't take downvotes too hard. It's only reputation points. Everybody starting on Stack Overflow will collect some downvotes down the way to make good, helpful answers.

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  • Thanks @Bart. Still learning english. – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd May 8 '13 at 17:36
  • No vote on this answer but first sentence is pretty harsh... shouldn't really chastise users for not "getting things" at the rate we arbitrarily expect them to. Plus there's no reason to think this user has lurked around comments on bad questions seeing what's wrong with them. Maybe s/he just lurks on useful questions, like you know, most lurkers on SO. – djechlin May 8 '13 at 17:38
  • @djechlin You're totally right on this one. I'll take it out. – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd May 8 '13 at 17:39
  • Looks good, +1. – djechlin May 8 '13 at 17:40

Yes, it is frustrating, there are some users who don't understand that sometimes a link is all you need to solve your problem. I'd always be fine if you gave me a good link as an answer.

Having said that, you'll have to throw more content in to keep those kind of users off of your back.

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    So if the link breaks that doesnt bother you at all? – Josh Mein May 8 '13 at 17:31
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    I hate dead links, but that doesn't mean that my question wasn't answered. It's no worse than an answer that goes out-of-date, which is a common problem out there also. – Lance Roberts May 8 '13 at 17:32
  • Though an answer that goes out of date is still an answer on this site. A link is only a pointer to help somewhere else. Something that is fundamentally at odds with what this site wants to be. – Bart May 8 '13 at 17:34
  • At least an out of date answer can be updated as you just make any syntax or actual functional changes that my be required. You still get the gist of what the person was recommending. With a link only, you are just left to hope that they url provides enough information to find what you need. – Josh Mein May 8 '13 at 17:34
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    @LanceRoberts That's contrary to the purpose of SO. Remember, it's not here to answer one person's question, it's here to create a repository of knowledge that will be helpful to the OP as well as future readers of the question. – Servy May 8 '13 at 17:34
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    there are some users who don't understand that sometimes a link is all you need to solve your problem. Nonsense. You are aware that it has been policy since May 2011 to flag link-only answers as "Not an answer"? – LittleBobbyTables - Au Revoir May 8 '13 at 17:35
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    Simple : Links die, Examples don't. – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd May 8 '13 at 17:37
  • @Servy, no, it's here for both purposes. – Lance Roberts May 8 '13 at 17:43
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    @LanceRoberts It is frustrating when users' posts are deleted without them being able to know why. That's why I recommend people leave comments before flagging something for deletion. From a moderator's perspective, once the flag gets to me, that means the community failed to resolve it. Things like 'link only' answers should be resolved before it even gets to the moderators. – George Stocker May 8 '13 at 17:48
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    @LanceRoberts That's what I said; it's here to do both. It's not here to just create searchable content that never helps those asking questions, just as it's not here to answer questions that will never help anyone else. Content on SO needs to do both, content that does only one or the other is undesirable. That's why I said "be helpful to the OP as well as future readers" and not just "be helpful to future readers regardless of the OP". – Servy May 8 '13 at 17:50

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